|Publication number||US7055718 B2|
|Application number||US 10/776,495|
|Publication date||Jun 6, 2006|
|Filing date||Feb 11, 2004|
|Priority date||Feb 11, 2004|
|Also published as||US20050184081|
|Publication number||10776495, 776495, US 7055718 B2, US 7055718B2, US-B2-7055718, US7055718 B2, US7055718B2|
|Original Assignee||Schafer Systems Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Referenced by (3), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates in general to an apparatus for the display and dispensing of lottery tickets and more specifically to such apparatus that utilizes tension arms to guide tickets through a dispenser.
2. Description of the Prior Art
It is known in the art to store and dispense lottery tickets for instant lottery games. Such tickets are sold in a variety of retail establishments and are commonly found in grocery stores and convenience stores. Lottery tickets are often dispensed manually by the simple process of detaching a ticket or tickets from a ticket pack, according to the requirements of the ticket purchaser. However, with a variety of different types of instant lottery games now being offered, it has become commonplace for establishments selling such tickets to use different types of ticket display and dispensing devices for the tickets. A problem with previous devices has been the dispensing of tickets of various thicknesses. The tension on the ticket must be great enough to prevent the ticket from falling out of the dispenser, but not so great that the ticket becomes stuck in the dispensing slot.
Means of providing an efficient and effective device for the dispensing and accounting of tickets that are sold are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,383,572; 3,978,958; 4,982,337; and 5,222,624. Although such vending devices appear to be highly efficient in dispensing and accounting lottery tickets, they are expensive to purchase, relatively complex to operate and maintain, and take up more space than is normally available for ticket dispensing devices. U.S. Pat. No. 6,230,926 B1 discloses a relatively inexpensive alternative to the previously listed devices, but other than a friction roller used as means to account for the number of tickets sold, the device has no means to guide the tickets through the dispenser and aid in separation of series connected tickets.
Box-like ticket dispensers with tension-governed exits are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 978,052; 2,887,247; 4,738,384; 5,100,038; and 5,399,005. While the devices disclosed in these patents utilize tension to dispense tickets, all of them are more complex than the present invention, requiring springs, rollers and/or manual adjustments in order to properly function. These parts suffer from wear as tickets are dispensed, and require servicing to restore the device to proper function.
One objective of the present invention is to provide a space saving structure with simplified means for providing continual proper tension on lottery tickets as they are drawn through the dispensing slot, without need for springs, moving parts, manual adjustments, or servicing.
A second objective is to provide a structure at lower manufacturing cost with fewer maintenance needs.
A third objective of the present invention is to provide a drawer to accommodate tickets of varying thicknesses.
The present invention provides for the storage, display, and dispensing of various types of lottery tickets that have varying thicknesses. The ticket dispensing apparatus of the present invention includes a drawer for storing a pack of tickets, a ticket holding bin, and a ticket dispensing assembly utilizing tension arms which guide tickets through the apparatus. Because the tension arms are flexible, tickets of varying thicknesses experience tension without becoming stuck in the slot.
One of the advantages of the present invention is that it is of a simple design that does not wear like rollers, requires no moving parts like springs or rollers, costs less to produce and maintain, and lasts longer before requiring replacement.
Another advantage of the present invention is that the dispensing slot can accommodate tickets of various thicknesses due to the use of resilient tension arms.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated from the following description. The description makes reference to the accompanying drawings, which are provided for illustration of the preferred embodiment. However, such embodiment does not represent the full scope of the invention. The subject matter, which the inventor does regard as his invention, is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of this specification.
With reference to the drawings, a ticket dispenser in the form of a drawer that is the preferred embodiment of the present invention is disclosed at 10 in
In the preferred embodiment, a tension arm assembly disclosed at 34 in
As seen best in
Another aspect of the preferred embodiment is the curvatures of the upper guide portion 20 and the tension arm 35. The upper guide portion 20 as shown in
The drawer is constructed such that it can be placed inside a drawer housing 50 as shown in
Thus, the present invention has been described in an illustrative manner. It is to be understood that the terminology that has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.
Many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. For example, the number of bins 24 and tension arms 35 may deviate from the preferred embodiment. Therefore, within the scope of the appended claims, the present invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US978052||Dec 8, 1909||Dec 6, 1910||Oscar Oehring||Ticket-holder.|
|US1339823 *||Feb 13, 1919||May 11, 1920||Harbaugh Paul C||Ticket-dispensing device|
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|US6230926||Jun 22, 2000||May 15, 2001||Schafer Systems Inc.||Ticket counting dispenser with ticket dispensing assembly|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7467738 *||Nov 13, 2003||Dec 23, 2008||Gtech Corporation||Lottery ticket dispenser and ticket bin|
|US20050178810 *||Nov 13, 2003||Aug 18, 2005||Interlott Technologies, Inc.||Lottery ticket dispenser and ticket bin|
|US20090159610 *||Dec 22, 2008||Jun 25, 2009||Gtech Corporation||Lottery ticket dispenser and ticket bin|
|U.S. Classification||221/310, 221/255, 221/303|
|International Classification||G07B3/00, G07F17/42, G06F11/16, B65H1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G07B3/00, G07F17/42|
|European Classification||G07B3/00, G07F17/42|
|Feb 11, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SCHAFER SYSTEMS INC., IOWA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:JENSEN, CRAIG;REEL/FRAME:014980/0223
Effective date: 20040130
|Sep 2, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 29, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8